un·​leash | \ ˌən-ˈlēsh How to pronounce unleash (audio) \
unleashed; unleashing; unleashes

Definition of unleash

transitive verb

1 : to free from or as if from a leash : let loose unleash the dogs unleashing his anger
2 : to throw, shoot, or set in motion forcefully unleashed a superb shot … to earn his side a pointThe New York Times

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Examples of unleash in a Sentence

The storm unleashed its fury. The editorial unleashed a torrent of angry responses.
Recent Examples on the Web There was no justification for the brutal use of force unleashed by Lebanon’s riot police against largely peaceful demonstrators in downtown Beirut,’’ said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at HRW. Andrea Rosa, BostonGlobe.com, "Violence escalates in Beirut as protesters clash with police," 19 Jan. 2020 But now Black women have unleashed two potent weapons—our collective dollars and entrepreneurial spirits—to create a market that caters to our unique cultural needs. Tamara E. Holmes, Essence, "Feature: The Industry That Black Women Built," 22 Oct. 2019 But since producers and directors and authors work in roughly two-year cycles, the wave of sensitivity unleashed by the corrosive 2016 presidential election — towards gender equity, racial diversity, class inequality — is paying some dividends. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "It’s another fall arts season. We may all have fall in common, but that alone isn’t going to save us.," 6 Sep. 2019 Ol’ Andy has unleashed the full potential of Magnificent Mahomes, reminiscent of what Jim Harbaugh did with Colin Kaepernick, but minus the personality TNT. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers vs. Chiefs: Greatest Super Bowl matchup ever?," 31 Jan. 2020 The rapid spread of the coronavirus that has sickened about 9,800 people — the overwhelming majority in China, with all of the 213 deaths there — has unleashed a wave of panic and, in some cases, outright anti-Chinese sentiment across the globe. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "As Coronavirus Spreads, So Does Anti-Chinese Sentiment," 30 Jan. 2020 In that sense Brexit has unleashed a bigger and long overdue political overhaul. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Britain’s Independence Day," 29 Jan. 2020 The advent of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unleashed a wave of cheap natural gas, prompting power companies to switch out their old, dirty coal units in favor of cleaner natural gas-burning replacements. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "Plastics Plants Are Poised to Be the Next Big Carbon Superpolluters," 24 Jan. 2020 The Oscar nominations have officially been unleashed, and, with that, the final stretch in the race to the 92nd Academy Awards is on. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "The Awardist podcast: What should we make of this year's Oscar nominations?," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unleash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unleash

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unleash

Time Traveler

The first known use of unleash was circa 1671

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Statistics for unleash

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unleash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unleash. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unleash


How to pronounce unleash (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unleash

: to allow or cause (something very powerful) to happen suddenly
: to remove a leash from (an animal) so that it can freely run, attack someone, etc.


un·​leash | \ ˌən-ˈlēsh How to pronounce unleash (audio) \
unleashed; unleashing

Kids Definition of unleash

: to free from or as if from a leash A storm unleashed its fury.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unleash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unleash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unleash

Spanish Central: Translation of unleash

Nglish: Translation of unleash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unleash for Arabic Speakers

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